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Faculty Senate hears budget plans

President Marc Tessier-Lavigne presents his first annual address to the Academic Council, including an update on the university’s long-range planning process.

On Thursday afternoon, the Faculty Senate heard a presentation on Stanford’s 2017-2018 fiscal year budget from Tim Warner M.B.A. ’77, vice provost for budget and auxiliaries management. The budget includes contingency funds to account for fluctuations in federal research funding and projects proposed through the University’s just-launched long-range planning process.

The budget plan projects $1.1 billion in endowment payout expendable funds available to different departments and groups and $759 million in funding specifically designated for student financial aid, salaries and stipends.

Warner said the endowment payout plays a significant role in shaping the budget plan. The budget plan anticipates growth in income from the endowment but sluggish increases in endowment payout, or the amount for annual use.

Warner emphasized building flexibility into the budget to mitigate uncertainty in federal allocations for research funding. Although federal grants for research account for a smaller proportion of Stanford’s research funding now than they did five years ago, they remain an important source of support. Currently, 71 percent of Stanford’s research funding comes from federal institutions.

This flexibility in the budget plan will also support initiatives generated through the long-range planning process, which will plot Stanford’s vision for its future. However, the initiatives have not yet been decided upon.

Some programs in the budget, such as the child care assistance program for faculty and Student Affairs’ Community Engagement and Diversity unit, were shifted from one-time funding to more permanent base budget funding.

Warner discussed initiatives to build new housing on campus in the capital plan and budget. Important projects include Escondido Village graduate housing, which will help Stanford tentatively house three-quarters of graduate students by 2021, as well as additional faculty and staff housing.

Construction will continue on Stanford’s Redwood City administrative campus next year. The campus expansion, currently in the works, is projected to accommodate 2,400 University employees when it opens in 2019.

Faculty members at Thursday’s meeting brought up concerns regarding housing support for second year master’s students and postdoctoral researchers. Priorities for this year’s budget plan include continuing an off-campus housing subsidy for graduate students.

Warner recognized deans, vice provosts and financial officers as well as the Capital Planning group, University Budget Office and University Budget Group for their efforts in crafting the budget.

Marta Sutton Weeks Professor of Ethics in Society Debra Satz, chair of the 49th Faculty Senate, announced that Paul S. and Billie Achilles Professor in Environmental Biology Elizabeth Hadly will chair the 50th Faculty Senate. Michele Elam,Martin Luther King, Jr. Centennial Professor, will serve alongside her as vice chair next year.

 

Contact Lark Wang at larkw ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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